On this day in Hip Hop history, duo KMD released its debut LP, Mr. Hood. Although it may not have had much commercial success, Mr. Hood ushered in the career of one of Hip Hop’s most respected figures, MF DOOM.
Mr. Hood came at a time in Hip Hop culture where consciousness and positive Afrocentric messages were prominent in the majority of popular rap music. The Nubian renaissance taking place in Hip-Hop at the time birthed artists like Queen Latifah, Brand Nubian, and The Jungle Brothers.
Lyrically, Mr. Hood‘s subject matter is politically charged while being able to retain its youthful nature. Zev Love X and Onyx the Birthstone Kid were able to satirize and intellectually dissect oppressive American culture and weave it seamlessly into their rhymes.
DJ Subroc’s production is also of merit. The sampling techniques used to turn already composed pieces into separate instruments meshed perfectly with the group’s style and influenced generations of producers to come. Even the “Mr. Hood” character that appears throughout the album was sampled clips from a language-learning tape.
Released by Elektra Records, the album’s commercial success does not reflect its importance. KMD and Mr. Hood did a lot for the culture as far as promoting righteousness. Their message is one that inspired not only fellow artists but also a community to be conscious of their culture and grow as a people against a system built against them. Take some time to listen to the beginning of the career of some of Hip Hop’s most influential underground artists.